6 Dos and Don’ts for White Paint, According to Interior Decorators

Don’ts: Expect to use just one floor-to-ceiling paint

In many traditional spaces, you’ll notice a familiar pattern: an off-white on the walls, paired with crisp white trim, moldings, ceilings, and doors. But that doesn’t mean you have to, too. Kesselman often uses the same shade for a room’s walls, moldings, and ceilings, relying on a combination of slight variations in chandelier and other architectural elements in the room to create points of contrast and interest. visual.

Whether you stick with the more traditional approach or plan to go monochrome, keep in mind that the ceiling, walls, and trim are often painted in different finishes.

“Flat finishes are the most common on walls. I think it’s the most aesthetic, but it’s also the most forgiving because the flatter the paint, the more imperfections it hides on the wall itself, ”explains Kesselman. From there, he recommends a matte finish for ceilings and a satin or semi-gloss finish for all trim. “It’s very subtle; they’re light touches so things don’t seem too simple, ”he says.

Do: invest in your rollers and brushes

Buy quality painting tools for the best application. “Don’t waste your time with inexpensive rollers because they are the ones that typically remove fluff and lint,” Welch explains. This means that when you apply paint to the wall, the fibers of the roller will stick to the wall, ruining your application. “Spend a little more on, maybe, a Purdy Roll. You really get what you pay for, ”Welch says. For good measure, wash your rollers and brushes (and let them dry) before soaking them in your primer to make sure they’re free of dust and loose fibers.

A spacious Los Angeles living room painted in Super White by Benjamin Moore.

Photo: Roger Davies

Don’ts: Avoid cleaning and dusting the surfaces you plan to paint

Wipe down the surface you are painting and any adjacent surfaces that you plan to apply painter’s tape to. “Most of the time, contractors don’t pay attention to cleaning or wiping things up,” Welch cautions. Drywall dust, sawdust, and ordinary household dust spread easily and far into a home and prevent the tape from sealing completely, creating an unsightly texture under the paint.

Do: apply one coat of primer and two coats of paint, if you can

After all the research on which white will find the right tone in your space, those trips to the store, and more, it can be tempting to look for ways to speed up the process when it comes to painting on your own. The verdict on priming, according to Kesselman and Welch, is that just because you can skip it, doesn’t mean you should, especially considering the white paint is ruthless.

“You can end up with high and low points in the sheen, and you can also end up with an uneven color,” Kesselman explains of the possible consequences of not having a primer. “You have to do it the right way,” Welch confirms. “Otherwise, you’ll see the imperfections: nicks, bubbles, ripples. If you don’t go over it with two coats of paint, you will see it. Especially with white.

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